Universitas 21 (U21) is an international association of comprehensive, research - intensive universities in 15 countries.
Established in 1997, U21 is capable of achieving the kind of practical outcomes that none of the individual members would be able to achieve independently or through traditional bilateral alliances. The aim of U21 is to facilitate interchange between members. It provides a framework for international collaboration, capitalising on the established reputation and operational reach of each of its members.
U21 engages in a number of activities on three different levels:
- The first level encourages interactions between researchers and teachers, encouraging student exchanges and academic cooperation, and engaging universities in collegial dialogue
- The second level facilitates greater international collaboration between members, such as the sharing of resources and learning materials to enhance capabilities.
- The third level focuses on developing opportunities and utilising the Universitas 21 networks for entrepreneurial activities.
For more information, visit the U21 website.
U21 functions as an equal partnership of its members. Participation is by invitation. Current members are:
Faculty and Staff
International Central Networks Fund (ICNF)
The International Central Networks Fund (ICNF) provides central funding to support University of Auckland staff access the networking and collaboration opportunities presented by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), Universitas 21 (U21) and the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN).
The University’s engagement with U21 includes collaboration in teaching and learning, and university administration best practice. The University works, as a member of APRU, to address identified research themes and institutional challenges that relate to the Pacific Rim.
WUN creates new, multilateral opportunities for transcontinental collaboration in research. It has structures in place to help seed new multilateral projects and a number of active WUN multilateral projects in this ‘start-up’ phase. In receiving WUN support and recognition there is an expectation that the projects will become fully sustainable through successful joint applications to international agencies.
Academic and General staff may apply to ICNF for support to undertake activities related to all three networks. For more information, please visit ICNF page.
U21 Early Career Researcher Workshop
A U21 workshop for Early Career Researcher Development will be hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tuesday 4-Thursday 6 December 2012. The theme of the workshop is: “The status-quo and the future of Ecological Civilization”.
The University is able to put forward two nominees, and is keen to support staff to attend.
Interested early career researchers should apply to the International Central Network Fund (ICNF) for funds to support their travel and accommodation. The ICNF Committee will also double as a selection committee for the nominees should more than two people apply. The ICNF is currently calling for applications. Applications close 5pm, Monday 16 April 2012.
Please note: For the purposes of this process an Early Career Researcher (ERC) is defined as a researcher who has been awarded their PhD within the last eight years. HoDs have the discretion to nominate ECRs who fall outside this definition, due to an atypical career path, including those who have:
- Started the research-intensive component of their career later
- Had career breaks
- Spent time in industry
For further information on the U21 workshop please contact:
Robyn Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the ICNF process please contact:
Matthew O’Meagher, email@example.com
U21 Doctoral Student Mobility
A new scholarship has been established to support University of Auckland doctoral students who wish to undertake short term visits and placements at other U21 institutions.
The scholarship shall provide a return economy airfare and a stipend. The stipend will be determined by the value of doctoral stipends offered by the host U21 institution. Students may apply for up to three months funding.
U21 Graduate Research Conference (GRC)
The Graduate Research Conference gives graduate students the opportunity to study, network and live together for a week, developing research partnerships and international friendships which will be of great importance for their future academic careers. One of the main aims of the conference is to provide participants with an opportunity to develop a range of skills relevant to research.
The first U21 Graduate Research Conference was held at the University of Birmingham on the theme of "Water". Following from its success, a second GRC took place in Australia at the end of 2009. The University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, hosted the 3rd U21 Graduate Research Conference from 22-26 June 2011. Two doctoral students from our University attended this event, namely, Ashley Young and Niha Phukan.
For more details regarding this year's Conference, please visit U21 website.
U21 Summer School
Each year an annual U21 Summer School is held within a U21 institution, in which students from each member institution participates. The summer school is a 2-3 week intensive programme in which students explore and participate in a pre selected theme.
For students interested in applying for this year's summer school, guidelines and relevant information will be available on 360º Auckland Abroad website.
The Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) provides the opportunity for outstanding undergraduate or Honours students from U21 member universities to showcase their research to an international audience of fellow students and staff. The URC aims to attract students from a diverse range of discipline and typically includes a range of seminars and student presentations interspersed with social activities and tours to promote networking and stimulate discussion. Students are also presented with the opportunity of publishing their research in the University of Virginia's undergraduate journal The Oculus.
For students interested in applying for this year's conference, guidelines and relevant information will be available on 360º Auckland Abroad website.
Annual General Meeting
A general meeting of U21 members is held annually, and hosted by a member institution chosen 12 months in advance. The U21 Director (Vice-Chancellor/President) and Manager (Pro Vice-Chancellor International/ International Director) in each institution attend this meeting.
Lund University, Sweden hosted the 2012 Annual U21 AGM and Presidents' Meeting from 9-11 May 2012.
U21 joint PhD agreement
Universitas 21 (U21), the leading network for international higher education, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a unique development in the opportunities available to PhD students around the network.
The agreement, signed by Vice Chancellors and Presidents from fourteen leading universities around the world at their annual meeting this year at Korea University, establishes a joint PhD programme which enables doctoral students to embark on joint degrees which will considerably enhance their research and employment opportunities on an international scale.
Unlike a number of other joint programmes, this MoU gives an over-arching framework for universities to create tailor-made programmes of study for each students, taking individual research needs into account and enabling collaboration with another of the network's universities.
For interested students, please contact:
Ms Gretchen Lutz-Spalinger
Manager Graduate Centre
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 88238
U21 sustainability declaration
Vice-Chancellors and Presidents from U21, signed a Statement on Sustainability at their Annual Network Meeting held in Seoul, Korea, which emphasises the important role that universities can and do play in addressing the decline of biodiversity, of energy, food and water security, of climate change, of economic sustainability and of human health.
Through the Statement, which is one strand of the network's Year of Sustainability, the U21 member universities commit themselves to ensuring a sustainable future:
- through research, teaching, community partnerships and demonstrable actions, to advance timely solutions to ecological, societal and economic problems
- through engagement with civil society, industry and government, to accelerate these solutions beyond the campus
- by working together collaboratively and cooperatively, to achieve more than is possible by working alone
To become involved in this initiative through U21, contact us.